Spammers
Posted: 04 December 2013 08:38 AM   [ Ignore ]
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FYI,

Maybe over the summer I’ll overhaul the software running the site and get new Captcha and other anti-spam measures installed. But in the meantime the system of requiring people email me, convincing me that they’re human, does a good job of keeping the spammers out. (At the cost of discouraging casual visitors from posting, which is a significant negative.)

But there are some spammers who employ people, presumably from developing countries (I could check where they’re posting from, but I don’t bother), to get around such systems. Fortunately, most of these fail the Turing test (or maybe the Turing test is too low a bar for determining intelligence).

Here is a typical email from a human spammer:

hi dace
i am with u to work against spammers, would u pls activate my account?
thanks

The user profile includes a link to a YouTube video advertising a blender.

On the plus side, many of the responses from real people are quite humorous in their innovative ways to convince me of their humanity (e.g., tales of their seven ex-wives being willing to testify that they are all too human and fallible, or an inordinate fondness for fly fishing being proof.)

There’s no point to this post, other than the thought that some of you might wonder what kind of messages get through to me.

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Posted: 04 December 2013 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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It’s entertaining, Dave, that’s all the point it needs. Not the least annoying thing about spammers is that they brought about the introduction of captchas. I’ve just been through a particularly infuriating one trying to report a search engine fault on our Yuku archive. I had to refresh it six times in order to get one that was even halfway legible.

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Posted: 04 December 2013 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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I would hope you’re using reCaptcha. For those who don’t know, reCaptcha uses two images, one of which is the actual test, and the other is an image from a digitized publication that needs a human to figure out. They present this same image many times and from the responses, determine the actual word or number. So while captchas are often annoying, they can also contribute to better digitization of more printed publications. More books online for all!

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Posted: 04 December 2013 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Just checked and I see that Yuku do indeed use reCaptcha. That does make me feel better about it.

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